A victim who has suffered property damage or injuries as a result of a trucking accident will need a lawyer to help them. They also need plenty of evidence to support their claim. It is important to know what to look for in a case and how it can strengthen your case. Sometimes, finding this information and physical evidence can be difficult.
One of the most important evidence that can be found in an investigation into a trucking accident involves the violations of safety rules that a company might push a truck driver to engage in or that the agency will adopt without the consent or knowledge of the trucker. According to federal and state regulations, the truck driver’s employer is responsible for following various rules and policies that protect other road users and the trucker. These rules concern rest hours, inspections, and carrying loads that are appropriate for the truck type.
Tracking and Logging Devices
According to the Department of Transportation many commercial trucks are equipped with electronic logging and tracking devices that record data and ensure safety compliance. This information is needed to track hours of service, rest times, and brake usage. It could also be used as evidence in an accident. Some log only information from the trucker to the agency in global positioning and the loads on the truck. The circumstances of each incident may mean that even log data can be helpful in a claim. An expert witness may be needed to help a lawyer translate the information into something that is understandable and helpful in the case.
Although electronic logging devices can provide some evidence, the computer that contains crash data will usually support the victim’s claim. Also known as a “black box”, the crash computer contains crucial evidence. It includes details about the speed of the truck, the time it was involved in the accident, the time the driver applied the brakes and the method used. Other information may also be useful to support the victim’s story. The computer could also contain defective information, such as malfunctions in electrical systems or brakes that did not engage when the brakes were engaged.
Maintain records as evidence
The maintenance records could be crucial evidence in a claim if the trailer or truck is at fault for the accident. The company keeps these records and it is up to the agency or entity that hired the trucker to maintain them. The company could be liable for damages to anyone who was injured in an accident if it violated truck maintenance, used shortcuts to speed up the trip, or otherwise caused problems. Maintenance inspections include inspections of the engine and cargo, as well as conditions of brakes, electrical malfunctions, and inspections of the engine.
Qualifications for the Driver
Some drivers are more qualified to drive the truck than others. This could cause problems in the event that the driver has a history of accidents or a driving under the influence ticket. This evidence can be crucial in bolstering the plaintiff’s claim. Victims who have been harmed by safety or rules violations could be supported in court if they are able to prove them. A lawyer might be able to obtain the evidence necessary and present it before the judge or jury panel.
Many trucks have dash cameras. In the car of the driver or passenger, a camera might capture video of the incident. This could prove the trucker responsible for the accident. It is possible, however, that some items belonging to the company or agency which hired the truck driver may be visible for the judge or jury. These could include failing to secure cargo, failures in inspection with different aspects of the truck, or problems with the truck itself. The stronger the case, the more evidence that the camera provides.
Trucking Accidents: Legal Support
The plaintiff will need a lawyer regardless of the evidence available to him in order to move forward with the case. A lawyer will present evidence and argue for the victim’s compensation.